President's Perspective


On Life and Loss

June 11, 2014
Carolyn Merry, Ph.D., M.ASCE
Carolyn Merry, Ph.D., M.ASCE

I was deeply saddened by the news of the death of one of our own, Dr. Carolyn Merry, who tragically lost her life on one of the roads in her community at 63 years of age. I was fortunate enough to know Carolyn in her role as a tireless volunteer and president of the ASCE Central Ohio Section, and through her work at my alma mater, The Ohio State University. As Department Chair of Civil, Environmental & Geodetic Engineering at OSU, she touched the lives of many students and faculty and improved the program throughout her tenure.  More important than her direct contributions to our profession, we lost a truly good person.

As civil engineers, we are often so busy that we don’t pause to appreciate the wonderful people we’ve worked with both in our careers and in our volunteer work. I’d like to ask you all to pause and be grateful for the many dedicated people you come in contact with in your lives. Life is fleeting and we should take the opportunity to treasure the time we have with each other.

No matter how hard we work on making our infrastructure stronger, resilient and safer, car crashes continue to claim the lives of wonderful people like Carolyn. Take this post as your own personal nudge to make a difference now, whether in your community or in your profession. Please don’t put off what you want to accomplish in life until you retire. None of us can take for granted how long we have here on planet earth.

1 Comment
  • Harry B. Thomas, P.E., M. ASCE, F.SEI

    I am also an OSU graduate (1962) who has had the privilege of knowing and working with Carolyn Merry since her arrival at Ohio State in 1988. As a Board of Governors member for the CE Alumni I have further had the distinct good fortune to enjoy a friendship with her during her time as Department Chair. Your description of her as “a truly good person” captures the essence of Carolyn’s values. We are thankful for the time we had with her, and we are going to greatly miss her.

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